Saturday, January 14, 2012

Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup

I'm always up for trying new Tomato Soup recipes.  We had grilled cheese for dinner and I tried this new recipe to go with it.  The soup was super thick, but you could always thin it down with some milk or broth.  I wanted this to go further, so I doubled the tomatoes.  I was able to try San Marzano tomatoes for the first time (I can buy those here- yay!)

Obviously, this soup contains roasted garlic.  You can use as much as you want, and I chose to roast and use the whole head.  Roasting really mellows out garlic, so this soup was not too strong at all.  I'll include directions for roasting garlic after the recipe, below.

Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup
adapted from Homesick Texan

2, 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (like San Marzano)
1 head of garlic, roasted (instructions below)
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1/4 of a large onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 pieces of cooked bacon (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups half-and-half
3 tablespoons of hard cheese such as Parmigiana, Romano or Asiago

1.  In a large soup pot with a lid, melt butter, and cook onions, celery, carrot, and one piece of bacon (chopped) for 10-15 minutes.  Add tomatoes, sugar and basil and other piece of bacon to pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

2.  Squeeze roasted garlic out of its skin and add as many cloves as desired to the soup.  (I used the whole head).  Stir in cheese.  Simmer, covered for another half hour.

3.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup right in the pot.  If you don't have an immersion blender, let the soup cool a bit, and then puree carefully, in batches, in a regular blender.  Vent the lid and cover with a kitchen towel so heat can escape. 

4.  Put the soup back onto the stove, on low heat, and stir in the half-and-half.  Add milk, or broth, if desired, to thin it out, or leave it as-is for a thick soup. 
How to roast garlic:  Heat the oven to 350 F.  Lay out a small sheet of foil.  Take a head of garlic and slice off the top, exposing all the cloves just slightly.  Place garlic head on the foil.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, about 1/2 Tablespoon.  Wrap up the garlic loosely in the foil.  Set in a small ramekin or on a small baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for about 1 hour or until garlic is tender, browned, and looks like the garlic below.  Let cool, and when desired, squeeze individual cloves out of garlic skins to use in recipes. 
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